Friday, January 17, 2014

Freeze Likely Saturday Morning

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Recap of Today

There were just enough clouds early this morning to keep most of us in the 40°s for the morning low but as expected we stayed dry as the latest in a series of cold fronts moved through. While occasionally breezy, we moved to mostly sunny skies before lunchtime and stayed that way through the afternoon. Highs for Baton Rouge climbed into the upper 50°s with a few WAFB communities hitting the 60° mark. Not a bad winter day!


Skies will remain clear through the evening and overnight as a dome of surface high pressure settles right over top of us. Add in little or no wind and very dry air (dew point temperatures in the ‘teens to low 20°s) into the pre-dawn hours and you’ve got the ingredients for a wake-up freeze for Saturday morning. Plan on lows in the upper 20° to near 30° for the Red Stick with mid to upper 20°s near and north of the LA/MS state line. It’s certainly going to be a very cold morning for visitors and participants in town for the Louisiana Marathon!

Not to worry though: freeze durations will be relatively limited for everyone. Most WAFB communities will be back above freezing by or before 9AM on Saturday, so this is not going to threaten those pipes. However, as a reminder, please be careful if you are using space heaters and the like!

(Of course, hopefully you have completed all of your necessary freeze precautions to make it through the rest of the winter. If you didn’t have any freeze-related problems during last week’s Arctic blast, then you should be good-to-go right into spring.)


So we’ll get that Saturday morning freeze under our belts with all-day sunshine taking temperatures into the upper 50°s to low 60°s for highs by the afternoon. Sunday morning will not be nearly as cold, with a morning start in the upper 30°s to low 40°s followed by a fine Sunday afternoon under mostly sunny skies with highs for metro BR in the low 60°s -- right about ‘normal’ for this time of year.

You may hear something about a weak cold front moving through the region on Sunday. Yes, a dissipating front will clip our area but it will have little noticeable impact on our weather. It could bring a few mid-day clouds and will generate a brief run of northwesterly winds during the first half of Sunday before the winds swing back to the southwest by late Sunday afternoon.

So after a nice winter weekend, what’s in store for next week?

Extended Outlook

Our next cold front arrives late Monday into early Tuesday. With “dry” air (low dew points) dominating the weekend, the next front won’t have much moisture to work with. Given that, we’re going with minimal rain chances -- running at about 20% or less -- for the latter half of Monday into the early hours on Tuesday. With the viewing area on the south side (the “warm” side) of the front through most of Monday, many of us could see highs up around 70° for Monday afternoon. By contrast, after the front moves through, highs for Tuesday will likely top-out in the 50°s for most WAFB neighborhoods.

The NWS Weather Prediction Center guidance suggests that yet another weak front slides by on Wednesday, but this front will also be a “mainly dry” boundary. We’ll flirt with light freezes for Wednesday and Thursday mornings as high pressure settles over the Gulf Coast again for Thursday. We bring a slight chance of showers into the regional forecast to close out the week.

Enjoy the weekend sunshine!

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